With Apple ( AAPL), it's all about how much you believe. The computer company won over many skeptics last year with the phenomenal sales of its iPod music player. Although known as a niche company, Apple hopes to build on that success by going downmarket, introducing on Tuesday a new low-cost computer and a cut-price iPod player. However, the company's first-quarter earnings report after the closing bell Wednesday may be a good indication of how far the company has to go. Many analysts believe Apple is making the right moves to extend its dominance in MP3 players and to grow its computer business. The new products, particularly the low-priced Mac mini computer, "will attract new users to the platform," said Tim Deal, a senior analyst with Technology Business Research. (Deal has no position in Apple shares and Technology Business Research does not do investment banking.) But not everyone's convinced. Apple's latest products indicate that it's attempting to move away from the niche toward being a mass market company, said Eugene Walton, an analyst with Walton Holdings. But Apple hasn't shown that there's a mass market for its computers, nor that it can operate with the same efficiency -- and razor-thin margins -- that mass market companies typically work with, he said. "They haven't proven that they have mass-market skills," said Walton, who has no position in Apple shares. Walton Holdings does not do investment banking. Walton's not the only doubter. Despite getting positive press, Apple's stock dropped on Monday following the product announcements. The company's shares closed regular trading off $4.40, or 6.4%, to $64.56. Apple has long been a company with more than its share of believers and critics. The company has built a loyal customer base with its user-friendly software and its cutting-edge features and designs. Despite the consolidation and increasing commoditization of the PC industry, Apple has been able to thrive in its own way in large part due to its innovations.